Pacing plan ‘reverses long Covid in weeks’

Long Covid can be reversed in six weeks with a plan that gradually increases exercise over time, a trial has shown.

The program takes people from gentle stretching and breathing exercises and builds up, until they are doing the activities they were doing before they became ill, such as sports or workouts.

It was tested on 31 people who have been suffering symptoms of Long Covid such as fatigue, brain fog and breathlessness, for around 17 months, and who reported three ‘crashes’ a week where they were left exhausted after mild physical or mental exertion.

Six weeks later, at the end of the programme, that was reduced to an average of one crash a week.

The patients also experienced moderate improvement in their ability to be active and better quality of life.

Noticeable improvement

Elizabeth Bycroft, 52 from Leeds, who became ill with Covid in March 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic, was one of the participants who saw a noticeable improvement.

“I used to walk miles with my dogs, and attend fitness classes, and I would normally run up the stairs. After Covid, all that stopped.

“I could no longer do the everyday things that had been a part of my life. If I walked up the stairs at home, I would have to go into one of the bedrooms and sit down to catch my breath.

“I am not doing too badly now. I am still unable to do some of the things I used to do pre-Covid. But I can go out walking again although I still get breathless at times. And there are days when I feel completely exhausted, but those days are becoming fewer and fewer.”

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